Holidays, Travel

Bonjour de Paris!

Bonjour, mes amies! My daughter Amy and I made it safely to Paris aboard our super clean (and large) 787 aircraft taking an overnight hop from Dallas-Fort Worth to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. Great trip! A bit cramped but at nine seats across the airplane, it really was quite spacious…

It was raining as we came into land at CDG around 1:15pm. The outskirts of Paris are surrounded with industrial buildings. We passed by headquarters for many European companies as well as an Ikea and Samsung building as our driver headed south from the airport into Paris proper.

It was raining fairly hard as we pulled into one of nine terminals at Charles de Gaulle airport.

There was a bit of traffic but the drive was a quick 40 minutes. I was really pleased with Welcome Pickups as a driver service! This company was recommended by our hotel ~ Les Jardins de Eiffel, a beautiful 3-star hotel in the heart of the 7th Arrondisement here in Paris.

Paris’ Stade de France, where France won its first FIFA World Cup title in 1998. In that year, France beat Brazil 3-0. This stadium was built to house that football (soccer) match and will also host track and field events during the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics.

Our driver was on-time (actually early, and booked for us for 2 hours or so), showed us where to get our American dollars exchanged at CDW, and toured us around Paris which is how I shot most of these photographs. 🙂

I have no idea who this rider is, and I looked… Apparently, Paris has many horse and rider statues placed about the city.

I appreciated his giving us a quick tour around the Arc de Triomphe, a big statue in the center of town, and a view of Paris’ enormous 80,000+ seat stadium, le Stade de France (can you imagine??).

Paris is sooo beautiful! Of course, it has modern buildings mixed in with the the ancient ones, but how can you not love a city with such gorgeous architecture?? Most of my photographs are of ironwork railings and plasterwork… This is what I am looking for amongst our travels about the city.

Les Jardines de Eiffel Hotel

Our room was upgraded by the hotel staff, which was wonderful! Upon arrival, we were told that our room has a view of the Eiffel Tower and it didn’t disappoint. Le Jardines de Eiffel Hotel is a beautiful small hotel was recommended to me by our friend Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy and is everything she said it would be!

Charming, right off a small street ~ 8, rue Amélie ~ about a mile from the Eiffel Tower (witha great view right outside our bedroom window!). Our room had a queen size bed, a tele for watching the news, a teapot to have a nice cuppa, and an en suite bathroom with a tall tub.

It took us a while to figure out how to turn on the lights! None of them worked at first but you have to slide your room card key into this slot on the wall and then the lights and a/c radiator units work. Always fun to learn how to use things in another country!

Stohrer Chocolate, Rue Cler, Paris, France

We ended our day with dinner at a little café and a stop by a chocolate store…

Yummy! Ils sont trés bons!

We picked up some milk chocolate truffles and I found a wonderfully chocolate mousee-filled éclair to snack on back in our room.

depuis 1738

This chocolate shop (magasin de chocolate) had beautiful marble counters and wooden display cases (why didn’t I take more photos??).

Seems as though all of the shops we poked our heads into have been there forever! Our café had solid wooden plank floors, my guess is at least 2″ thick, 10″ x 2″. They didn’t squeak or bend under my weight ~ good flooring!

It didn’t last long… ;)’

The young lady who helped us talked about how Parisienne chocolates were so different than any others. We had asked about why they tasted so much better! I do have to say, the mousse inside this éclair was really fluffy but not overly sweet, which was perfect.

And that was our first day in Paris, friends!!

Jusqu’à la prochaine fois,

Barb 🙂

Holidays, Home Decor

Add Style with Thrift Shop Finds to Your Patriotic Mantel + Good 4th of July Movies to Discover!

Happy weekend to y’all, dear friends! All of the patriotic decorating posts I am seeing out on your sites has inspired me to redo my mantel!! A trip last week with my mother-in-law to her appointment with the Texas DPS in Gainesville to get her driver’s license (about 30 minutes north of us) had me out thrifting and antique browsing… And guess what I found?

While she waited for her turn, I went out to look around town’s shops and found a consignment antiques/thrift store just catty corner across the main street from where the Department of Public Services’ building is.

We had just stopped for lunch at Braum’s for burgers (they have great ice cream, too!), after touring the historical Medal of Honor outdoor park sites over the course of an hour-plus, and this little store was nice and cool on a hot 95 degree day…

Henry Hunt is a novel which was given to my husband by his mother who met the author at somewhere (B&N?). The book is signed. The blue textbook is one from my Political Science class in college. Really enjoyed that class!

The shop owners were very nice and I met a lady adding items to her section of the consignment shop. There were three floors inside and I was good and didn’t buy any more dishware (though I could have; always!).

What I found is this patriotic couple which are stamped Occupied Japan ( from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s is my guess) along their bases. Gini was excited about this little couple’s beginnings!! Of course she would be, she lived through that time right after World War II when Japan was occupied by the United States military and later as the Japanese military and people began rebuilding their country.

This man and lady in their 1776 costumes are a welcome addition to my small but growing collection of figurines! They go quite well with the French Sweethearts which I found in Denton a couple of years ago.

“L’homme et la femme parlent.” I have been busy studying French in both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Moving along and my pronunciation is getting better! I played with the chroma here. Our walls really look more this tan color, but it’s hard to catch it without “browning” everything else, lol!
Here is another look. I like this photograph better as the French couple’s colors are more true to life.

They also go equally well with the pair which Mr. Ethereal has had since forever…

Bluish-grey book on left: Of Plymouth Plantation ~ 1620-1647 by William Bradford, edited by S.E. Morison and found at Half Price Books, Austin, TX. That location has a massive older book section with a nice variety of used and signed books.

Hubby says that this couple (pictured above left, and another pair that are over at my MIL’s house) have always been in the Chapman family. It wasn’t something that they picked up when they toured Independence Hall in Pennsylvania during one of the summers when they traveled cross-country. Every summer for years they would drive to visit family and visiting historical sites over a two week period. I’ll have to ask Gini where they came from.

Sorry this is kinda blurry! I had to really lighten it up and pull out the blacks since the sun comes in through this westerly window late in the afternoon. Summer is really dark inside this house; winter photographs much better as the sun moves around more North-West in the late afternoon with the Earth’s rotation.

Our 4th of July mantel

  • Books ~ History and poli-sci books from school, that one Plymouth Plantation/Colonial history book, and a children’s book I picked up at our Scholastic Book Fair this spring are what I used as our mantel books this year.
  • Patriotic transferware plate ~ bringing in one blue dinner plate with Independence Hall on it as a central focal point was all that was needed. *
  • Colonial French and American figurines added the final touches with their red, white and blue.

*This set is Liberty Blue – Independence Hall made in England, Staffordshire Ironstone and says that it is “detergent and dishwasher safe.” I found some on Replacements Ltd. but there seems to be quite a few sites which carry them from anywhere from $10.80/plate to $23.00 (Replacements, Ltd.)

Back in 2019 I went with this on our mantel ~ sharing American Civil War and anything military since Hubby was a Marine. We have several sections of our big bookcases in the living room which hold a bunch of great tomes covering United States military campaigns and our country’s history, in general.

This second patriotic post was part of a Pinterest Challenge back in 2020, I believe. I need to redecorate our coffee table again but I’m in the middle of carpet cleaning and moving furniture around. I’ll share the new look as I get things finished!

More books up on the right side of our fireplace mantel. Really interesting reads!

Favorite Movies

Oh!!! If you haven’t seen the HBO mini-series John Adams, you should! It’s good!!

John Adams

I really liked Paul Giamatti’s portrayal as Adams. Laura Linney does a nice job of showing us Abigail Adams in much of their early married lives as the “harried housewife.” Mrs. Adams was busy raising kids in the late 1700’s, running a farm, and dealing with being a single mom much of the time while John Adams was away running the country.

At least that’s part of my take on the movie and the Adams’ lives! I recommend watching it over the 4th of July long weekend since it’s going to be super hot anyway… 😉

1776: 50th Anniversary 4K UHD

My inlaws introduced me to the musical 1776 back when Mr. Ethereal and I were first married and I instantly fell in-love with this film! It is based on the play of the same title by Peter Stone. Released in 1972 (I was 10 years old then.), I’m sure we saw it on reruns once a year on television, since my parents loved musicals, but I was probably too busy playing outside then and might not have been interested back then. 🙂

And that’s a wrap on our Patriotic Mantel (and a bit more) for this summer! I hope you have enjoyed this post and learned about some new books to check out at the library. I added the movies since you might be looking for copies of them, too. We actually don’t have 1776 so I think I will order. We’ve always just sat down and watched Gramma’s grainy video copy, though I think she has since updated to DVD or Blu-Ray. The old video is kinda nostalgic, I have to say. 😉

Happy 4th of July hugs,

Barb 🙂

Holidays, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #351

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #351! We have a lot of great features to share…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Welcome everyone! Can you believe tomorrow is the end of June already??! Well, with that, next week is the 4th of July!!!! Our lovely Independence Day and we have lots of wonderful patriotic posts for you with bold tablescapes to fun craft ideas to make with family and friends!

So, let’s get to our features, shall we? I’ve added a few of my old posts in the links, too, for more inspiration. 🙂

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Summer Projects: Painting the Little Metal Chair How-2 ~ I’m feeling the white look again, friends! If you haven’t painted metal chairs, or anything really, it’s super easy and here is a quick “How 2.” <3
Spruce Up Your Front Porch with Bunting for the 4th of July ~ I totally forgot to write into my post that I have never used bunting before over a doorway (or ever, really), which would have made more sense with the title, lol! I’ll have to go add that in… 😉

And here are this week’s featured posts…

We kick off this link party with Debra from Common Ground‘s completely festive post ~ Mini Patriotic Makeovers on the Hearth Room Mantel. Love all of our national symbols!!!
Judy from Life in Kentucky is back with her star spangled tablescape ~
Stars and Stripes Forever – Celebrating Freedom. Can you hear the fireworks going off? I can! 😉
Do you like to paint? It’s usually a summertime thing for me. This week Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy has a wonderful post sharing all of her recent works of art. Do stop by and check them out! From the Paint Box.
Beth over at Whispers of the Heart shared her lovely Lady Liberty on a 4th of July Tablescape. Wouldn’t this be fun right after attending the 4th of July parade?? So festive!!!
BLUEBERRY LEMON LAVENDER BREAD with two cups of blueberries and lemon slices
Elizabeth from Pinecones and Acorns shared this yummy recipe for Blueberry Lemon Lavender Bread… It’s perfection!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures takes us on a mini tour and talks about Embracing an Open Floor Plan in the Master Bedroom and Bath. LOVE those mirrors! Bet you’ll like what she’s done, too!
Carol from The Scribbling Boomer (love that blog name!) shared what’s she’s been up to this summer in this post ~
My Garden Art Retirement Hobby. Love garden art!!!
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared her summertime Vintage Thrifted Garden Treasures in the Backyard Cottage Garden.
So in love with all the gardens!!
Things to Do and See in Vancouver
Carol from Bluesky at Home shared just a bit of she and Hubby’s adventures in Canada in her post ~ 5 Awesome Things to Do and See in Vancouver.
On the bucket list!!!
Totally love this!!! Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa brings us this totally fun craft idea full of patriotic pride ~ Patriotic Holiday Assemblage in a Vintage Tin.

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy 4th to y’all!!!!

Barb 🙂

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Holidays, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #344

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #344! Happy Wednesday to y’all, dear friends!!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Good Wednesday evening, friends!! No new post this week but I do have a couple of photographs to share with you. I was out in the back garden last weekend, rototilling, raking and planting a couple of small trees…

Got the second Jane Magnolia planted near the left corner! This baby will only get to 15′ tall and about 10′ wide. The Thuja/Emerald Green Arborvitae will grow to about the same height but only about 3′ wide. Perfect for this corner spot and just adding color to the back fence!

The roses have been doing sooo well this year! Along the south house wall, all five roses are in bloom. Here is the Miranda Lambert deep pink rose in bloom just before a rainstorm last weekend. I quickly cut some of the roses and plunked them in a glass vase to save them from the incoming rain. So glad I did!!! Love them!!

Miranda Lambert ~ which has a lovely light scent!

We have some wonderful Mother’s Day features for you this week. So excited for Mother’s Day!! Hubby bought me some Ear Buds for this year’s MD so I’d be able to watch movies when I fly next (hopefully our trip to France this summer!).

Alright, let’s check out our features..

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Definitely flowers for Mother’s Day! Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy brings us around Michigan ~ Waking Up at Home and Beyond. Check out where she shot this… You’ll be surprised!
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland shares with us her lovely
Sunday Flowers Vignette and Flowers from the Garden. Lovely!!!
7 Home Made Marmalade Recipes To Try Out
Claire Justine shared her recipes for 7 Homemade Marmelade Recipes. Perfect for a Mother’s Day breakfast!
Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer collected some things here ~
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas #2. Fun choices!!!
Looking for a good movie to watch this weekend? Joanne from Aging with Ardor brings us ageing gracefully in this post ~ Andy and Red ~ from Shawshank Redemption with Tim Robbins as Andy and Morgan Freeman as Red (not sponsored, but my account).

A Beautiful French Country Wall Mural, artist painting wall, wall mural, painting trees
If you are a painter, perk up your mother or mother-in-law’s dining room with this lovely idea ~ A Beautiful French Country Wall Mural ~ from Renae at Peacock Ridge Farm. Gorgeous!!!
Renningers-Extravaganza-January-The-Crowned-Goat-4 From the Front Porch From the Front Porch
Lastly for this time, CoCo at The Crowned Goat shares
17 Easy Gifts to Make Before Mother’s Day. Wonderful!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all,

Barb 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Holidays, Home Decor

Share Your Style #341

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #340! Happy Wednesday to y’all, dear friends!!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Happy Wednesday to y’all! Funny story, I heard some girls talking today at school after school and this one girl kept saying, “y’all.” It’s just so typical Texas!!! And I am definitely picking it up as part of my lexicon. 😉

Well, sorry I am super late with SYS tonight… I came home, ate my Taco Bell chicken power bowl and promptly fell asleep. I have another cold and I am also tired from visiting up north with my kids for our little grandson’s 2nd birthday. We had a great time but it’s still traveling by air (with lots of wind turbulence… Can you say stressful??) and just not being home, so I guess my body is making up for it.

But, anyway, I DID manage to get one post out this week and then let’s get onto this week’s features… It’s all about Easter, amigos y amigas!!

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Early Springtime in the Garden ~ sharing early photos and really recent ones as the daffodils really ramped up their bloom time!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Debra from Common Ground has the cutest Easter Picket Fence Centerpiece to share with us all! Loving the sweet rabbit and his carrots…
Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa shared this adorable and easy post ~ How to Make Vintage Hankie Bunnies.
Hop on over to make some for your home!
surprise easter carrot on vintage tabacco leaf china plate
Love these!!! Elizabeth from Pinecones and Acorns shared her sweet
DIY Terrain-Inspired Easter Carrot Favors! Fun to make and to pop…
Sunday dinner with a split chicken breast, roasted potatoes and spring greens with homemade ranch dressing
Lynn from Living Large in a Small House brings us some spring greens in her post ~ Spring Salad Greens with Homemade Ranch Dressing. Yum!!!
CoCo from The Crowned Goat has a new dog story to tell along with her beautiful post, so do stop by and hear about “Piper” in Spring Home Tour!!
Sounds like a “pet project,” pun intended. She will be fine soon. :)’
Simply sweet violets spring decorating with violets
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared her sweet purple-y post ~
Small Spring Pleasures: Simply Sweet Violets… Reminds me of a song my mother used to sing…
Okay, not necessarily about bunnies or for Easter, but Larry the Yoga Frog just caught my attention. From Lynne at Thrifting Wonderland. Cute!
Lynne also shared a beautiful Easter Table in Black and White ~ just lovely!
Sandra from Come to Dinner at Eight rounds out our shares for this week with
A Field of Tulips on a Spring Table. Soooo pretty!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy Easter weekend to you! And even if there are no posts about Jesus here, it is a wonderful time to remember the reason for the season and that He died on a cross for us all… 💜 

Happy linking, y’all,

Barb 🙂

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Gardening, Holidays, Home Decor

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day to y’all! I missed getting this post out so thought I’d share it here a couple of days late. This winter has been crazy busy with my mother-in-law coming to stay with us, helping her find a new home and now helping her unpack.

Between working at school, the craziness there and helping Mom on the weekends, I just haven’t been writing (or photographing) much lately…

a conglomeration of Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter all mushed into one…

It is really nice to have this week off from school to be able to relax a bit, try and get over a head cold (yuck!), and later this weekend I head out to Athens, Texas for an IOOF state assembly meeting. It’s just a one-day event on Monday, so I won’t be back to work until Wednesday ~ which makes our holiday week extend a little longer. 🙂

Our springtime theme of light pinks in the new begonias and pretty pansies out front.

I have been cleaning and redecorating a bit with changes to the china hutch ~ switching it over from Valentine’s (never got a post out…) to a spring/Easter theme. (Might get it out.) It looks nice as I sit here and type!

A little shamrock Gini has had for years… It lives in compacted dirt in this antique pot thrown by her father back in the 1920’s or so.

I had been repotting my mother-in-law’s cuttings from her 57 year old garden in California and a bunch have made it three months now! Two roses have rooted for sure, and several other plants have as well. All had unfortunately sat overnight in hard freezing temps in her car while she and her son (Mr. Ethereal) slept in a hotel on their way here over New Year’s.

When I potted these up in early January, I mixed my own compost and added some Espoma Starter fertilizer. We were rewarded this week with these pretty blooms!

About half of those plants have survived with many of the succulents doing the best. No geraniums made it, though… 🙁 Just too cold for them in that car and here. 🙁

A few of the plants hanging out in the dining room window. They catch the afternoon sunlight here but will move up to better pots here later this spring.

But spring is coming and with a good fertilizer feed, I expect these survivors to begin putting on leaves and to start flourishing.

I’ve just moved my plants out of the greenhouse/potting shed and I’ll get a post out as soon as the yard is swept up and looking tidy. I ordered some bulbs online and got those nepeta and hellebores planted this week from Dutch company K. Van Bourgondien (not sponsored, but would love to be!).

new magnolias!

The dwarf magnolias I bought at Lowe’s last month and sheltered in the shed are bursting into bloom! They made it through the second Arctic overnight 25 degrees just fine, piled with leaves and wrapped against the cold with a garden quilt. I put them back in the shed so their tender open petals wouldn’t be blown off in the 45 mph gusts we had on Thursday and Friday.

I will shoot some more pics for you! They are gorgeous… This type of magnolia only grows to about 12′ tall and wide, which is perfect for our backyard.

Daffodils out front of our veterinarian’s office

St. Patrick’s Day

BY ELIZA COOK

St. Patrick’s Day! St. Patrick’s Day!

Oh! thou tormenting Irish lay—

I’ve got thee buzzing in my brain,

And cannot turn thee out again.

Oh, mercy! music may be bliss

But not in such a shape as this,

When all I do, and all I say,

Begins and ends in Patricks’s Day.

Had it but been in opera shape,

Italian squall, or German scrape,

Fresh from the bow of Paganini,

Or caught from Weber of Rossini,

One would not care so much—but, oh!

The sad plebeian shame to know

An old blind fiddler bore away

My senses with St. Patrick’s Day.

I take up Burke in hopes to chase

The plaguing phantom from its place;

But all in vain—attention wavers

From classic lore to triplet quavers;

An “Essay” on the great “Sublime”

Sounds strangely set in six-eight time.

Down goes the book, read how I may,

The words will flow to Patrick’s Day.”

***found on Poetry Foundation.org

And we’ve begun working on the fence again…

Whoa!!!

St. Paddy’s Day winds swirled around and pulled the east end of the southern fence away from its post. Hubby has since tied it back with a bungie cord. Now the next post towards where I was standing is pulling out… Good thing Hubby put in 10 metal fence posts for the new fence just outside of view!

Must be those rascally Leprechauns…

Cute little guy found on the internet and hailing from Oriental Trading Company.
Garlic, green onions and potatoes are planted and beginning to grow in this planter.

We had swirling winds during the day on Thursday. Dust devils pushed leaves up on the patios out back and in front. Forget about blowing them off!

During the night the rain storm showed up with cool cloud-to-cloud lightning…

The strange reflections on this photograph are off my phone as I shot this picture. This was a lightning streak torn across the sky which left the cloud visible afterward. Very strange and beautiful!

And that’s kinda how our St. Patrick’s Day was ~ super windy and then spotted rain. Made a mess of our cars; got a car wash today while filling the tank (yikes! almost $100…)

More rain and winds are expected this coming week. We sure need the rain! Texas is in its 3rd year of drought, from what I see. So used to drought, coming from California… (roll eyes!)

Well, that’s it for today, friends!! I hope you had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day and might have even eaten some corned beef and cabbage. I forgot to buy some at the store but it sure would have tasted good… ;)’

Happy blessings to you,

Barb 🙂